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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Searchlight Section (50th) RE France 1918


ROD WEALE

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Good morning

Can anyone help in giving me an info' on the make up of a typical RE Searchlight Section?

Robert Elliott (90692) died in Rouen on December 3rd 1918 so I assume he succumbed to wounds or was injured after the armistice. I would dearly like to know where he might have been based and what the typical set up of his unit would have been.

Many thanks

Rod

Edited by ROD WEALE
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Rod

Can you confirm this is 50 Search light section? I only ask because there was also 50th (Field Search Light) Company in France as well. I say this because there is some doubt that 50 section existed as the number clashed with 50 FS Company. Oddly though there is a war diary for 50 AA Section for February, 1919. They were serving with 4th Army, but then so was 50 (FSL) Company. However, 4th Army suffered a lot of air raids in 1918 and some times German aircraft dropped their bombs where they could see searchlight beams. Whilst also involved in AA work, 50 (FSL) Company was also involved in battlefield lighting for a short while, illuminating night-time bridging operations , particularly at Brie-sur-Somme.

To go back to the formation of these units, they were drawn principally from the Tyne Electrical Engineers and the London Electrical Engineers with a proportion of regular soldiers and some 600 B Class medical category men who were transferred from the infantry.

Anti-Aircraft Searchlight Sections were originally equipped with 60 cm lights, but these were later changed to 90 cm lights. I fear that you are not going to be able to follow exactly his footsteps given the lack of available information .

TR

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Terry

The CWGC Roll of Honour says "section" and that is the only source I have.

Cheers for info'

regards

Rod

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Terry - you mention a war diary. Is this on line. I know that the RE diaries are held at Gillingham. The other strange fact is that Elliott died in December 1918 at Rouen so I have assumed he was perhaps wounded and died in the Hospital in Rouen but I have no actual proof that that is the case.

regards

Rod

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